Marathon Fever

London Marathon

The annual pounding of London’s streets is upon us. Sunday joggers and runners are more easily spotted as the clock ticks slowly but steadily towards the London Marathon. The people who are out now have the best chance of finishing comfortably as they are conditioning themselves well in advance of the start.

Socially the Marathon is becoming more acceptable as an event and you will probably know someone in the office, friend or relative that is going to do it. This provides us with a strange perception that it is actually getting easier to do. 25 years ago you would have been considered a weirdo, going to seriously damage your knees probably even die in the ‘killer marathon!’ Now even 80 year olds are trying to get sponsorship to raise enough money to do it! The toughest thing seemingly in doing the marathon nowadays is getting a starting number as so many people are fighting for places to run in it. It is still, however, 26 and a bit miles (42 and a bit Kilometres for the pro Europeans), which is from Reigate to the City of London – quite a trip on a bike let alone by foot!

What is very important to understand, in any event, is that your enjoyment is going to be directly proportional to the amount of training you put in before it. If you really had to you could run, jog, walk a marathon tomorrow – you would probably enjoy the first few miles. The rest would be a tarmac watching slog of blister bashing, muscle and joint pain, mental torture of ‘are we nearly there yet!’ and several days of recuperation.

Marathon training is somewhat of an art rather than an exacting science. 40,000 plus people will start and all will have had some slightly different training regime or protocols.

Here are Forever Young’s top Marathon tips.
1. Train in all the clothing that you intend to use on the day, whatever the weather conditions, especially shoes. It is a poor idea to use brand new gear on the day without first trying it out several times.
2. Drinking on the run, a vital skill and something your body needs to get used to. Remember the first few stations are the most hectic and the most important. It may be an idea to carry your own for the first few stations to avoid the masses and then discard your container.
3. Ensure you know how you are getting there and back, and have a back up plan if you cannot finish. If it is your first Marathon don’t expect to be able to drive yourself home.
4. Make sure you run your own race on the day you will no doubt have a morale lift in the early stages. That lift is not there at 22 miles so be conservative early on; try not to get dragged along with the crowd.
5. Vaseline. Buy some and don’t be afraid to use it on the following special parts – excuse the lack of glamour here: feet in between toes, balls of feet and heels; inside calf’s (where opposite heel can rub) inside thighs and groins particularly where lining of short’s gusset is; under arms especially if you are wearing a T-shirt rather than vest; nipples, both girls and boys, joggers nipple is something well worth avoiding small plasters may rip a few hairs out of us guys but the short term pain is well worth it compared to weeks of not wanting to get in to the shower because it stings your nips! Finally eyebrows, sweat in your eyes is horrible a small amount of Vaseline in your eyebrows will enhance their natural role of keeping sweat out of your eyes – this won’t have an effect over tears of pain however!
6. Eating while running has the same principle as drinking on the run. Get used to what you intend to eat on the run. Bananas are still recognised as one of the best fuel types. Go for the riper ones, more black spots, in the race they will give you a slightly higher peak of sugar levels and are slightly easier to digest.
7. If it is a hot day run as much as possible in the shade. A few degrees cooler it will save your body in fluid intake greatly. Something like a 5-degree temperature rise will require ¾ litre more fluid over a marathon distance for a four-hour person.
8. Plan your breakfast well, again the call of ‘don’t try anything new’ raises its head.
9. Get a post massage if you can. Post-sport massage is a valuable tool to reduce muscle soreness and replenish muscles with the nutrients and oxygen it needs to recover after arduous exercise.
10. Finally don’t plan to do too much the day after the race. I have fond memories of a guy who had untold grief from his wife because he spent the next day asleep rather than the DIY he had promised to do… the plug was replaced on the microwave a few days later! Hope that gives food for thought. Have a great day if you are running in it. If not why not think about it for next year’s life challenge!

If you need assistance in your training, some motivation or sports massage I will be pleased to help call 07711 246651 or send an e-mail via our web at

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